COVID-19 outbreak in all residences

Tuesday, March 30, 2021

On March 30 the following email was sent to the UWaterloo community, including graduate students


To: All students and employees

From: Kate Windsor, Director, Safety Office

Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Subject: COVID-19 outbreak in all residences


  • We are managing a large outbreak in all residences.
  • We are urging students in residence to remain in their own accommodation.

On Monday, March 29, 2021, Region of Waterloo public health informed us that ten people who live on or have visited our campus tested positive for COVID-19.

All of the cases are related to a large cluster of COVID-19 in the region linked to off-campus gatherings of students from both universities. The cases include COVID variants of concern. As a result of the cluster, Region of Waterloo public health has declared an outbreak of COVID-19 in all University of Waterloo residences. Currently there are a total of 21 cases in this outbreak.

Public health officials are working with our residence and health teams to monitor the situation. Officials have been in touch with all high-risk contacts of the affected individuals. If you do not hear from public health officials, you should continue to self-monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and seek testing if needed.

The outbreak in residences means that we will be implementing changes to our operations in shared dining spaces and shared study spaces. We are urging students to remain in their own accommodation except to attend classes, exercise or get food.

Avoid gatherings and stay safe

This outbreak is another opportunity to remind our community that every student and employee has an important part to play in limiting the risk of COVID-19. It is up to everyone to follow public health guidance and to respect each other as we share the space on our campus.

Public health advises everyone in Waterloo region to:

  • Avoid all social gatherings with anyone not in your immediate household
  • Limit non-essential trips outside your home (e.g. work, school, getting food)
  • Practice physical distancing
  • Wear a face covering
  • Wash your hands often
  • Avoid enclosed, poorly ventilated spaces and crowded places
  • Stay home when you are sick and seek testing

Students in residences can get support

Our Res Life Team is available to help students living in residence. We urge any student living on campus to reach out for help if you are experiencing symptoms, are concerned about exposure, have been identified as a high-risk contact, or have received advice to self-isolate. We are there to help you.

COVID-19 testing is available for University students, employees, postdocs and family members living in the same household. To book a test, please use the online registration form.

We take the privacy of individuals extremely seriously. In reporting on positive cases, the University will protect the private health information of individuals. You should check our disclosure protocol for what to do if someone reveals to you that they have tested positive for COVID-19.

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